Objective: The purpose of this study was to subjectively compare the visibility of normal anatomy of the hands and feet using selenium-based digital radiography versus conventional film-screen (100-speed) radiography.
Subjects and methods: Digital and film-screen images of the hands and feet of 24 patients were obtained without an antiscatter grid using identical X-ray exposure. Each pair of images was evaluated independently by five experienced radiologists for visibility of normal anatomy using a six-point rating scale. Soft tissues, cortical bone, and trabeculae were evaluated. For each observer, "equivalence" was defined as a mean difference in image quality of less than 1 unit on the 0-5 scale used in the study. Paired t tests were also performed to determine whether the average visibility rating of one technique was statistically superior to that of the other at a .05 level of significance for each observer and at each anatomic landmark.
Results: In all categories, selenium-based digital images were rated equivalent to film-screen images by the five observers. Using the sum of the nine landmarks, four of the five observers rated the quality of selenium-based digital images superior to that of film-screen images.
Conclusion: Subjective visibility of normal anatomy of the hands and feet using selenium-based digital radiography was similar to that achieved using conventional film-screen radiography.